Thursday, August 7, 2014

Evan Tears Up Kelly's Motivational Sign

Today I watched episode twelve of the first season of The Secret Life of Us.  Sweet adorable Kelly—my favorite because she's played by Deborah Mailman—has become annoying.  She was manipulated by an old acquaintance into joining a get rich scheme, and now she's trying to manipulate her own friends and acquaintances to join in the game. Why does she want them to join in the game? Because the whole scheme is built on people manipulating each other into paying for something they probably don't need.

Kelly becomes a bit brainwashed. It happens sometimes. But yeah. She ends up believing what she's been taught in the workshops. If you visualize your dreams, they become real. Yes. The good old power of attraction.

Her roommate Evan is having a bad time in life. Towards the end of the episode, he loses his temper, rips up the motivational sign Kelly is hanging in the apartment, and says this line that I love: You don't get what you want just because you want it.

I say amen to that. People can disagree. They can tell me their personal story of success. They wanted something. They visualized. They never gave up. And now their dreams have come true. I can't argue with their claims that they once visualized what they wanted. I also probably can't argue with the fact that they're successful. But I can say that there's no proof that their positive attitude brought them success.

In my opinion, success is a combination of hard work and luck. Maybe it's actually more about luck. Because you can work really hard, but if you have shit luck, you're not going anywhere. On the other hand, you can be a lazy ass and have really good luck and something just falls into your lap.  

Does this mean I think we should be lazy and just sit around for luck to either come or not come?

No. That would be boring. Work keeps us busy—gives us a purpose in life.

Also, if we all stop working, the whole world's economy would implode.

The other day on Twitter, I saw a motivational Tweet. It annoyed me at first, and then I felt conflicted over my annoyance. I can't remember the exact words. It was something along the lines of success=working hard, being positive, and never giving up.

I thought how it was bullshit because I did all that with my writing career, and my writing career is pretty much shit. 

Then I decided maybe I was wrong. Yes, I worked very hard. Yes. I was positive. Well, at least some of the time. Do the Gods of Positive Attitudes punish you if you think negative thoughts every so often?  I would hope not. I would hope it's good enough to be positive about your dreams...uh...maybe a little more than half the time?

Anyway, but then I started thinking. I did always give up when it came to my writing. I would work super hard writing the novel or screenplay.  I would dream of it making me rich and famous. I'd send out a few letters to agents, and then give up on that project. I'd move onto the next thing. Then eventually I just gave up all together.

Thinking about that Tweet, I wondered. Maybe I'd be a super wealthy author if I had not given up so easily.

It's possible. Because I really did give up easily. It's not like I banged on the doors of success until my hands were raw and bleeding. It's more like I knocked timidly three times and then walked away.

I decided maybe this time, I'll fully test out the Tweet. I won't give up on my current novel.

But then I thought about how times have changed for writers. You don't have to bang on the door of agents and publishers. You write the book, put it on Kindle, and then wait for people to buy it.

So really. Not giving up in this scenario is really as simply as not giving up hope. I don't really have to do anything.

Some could argue that if one needs to sell a book, they need to promote the book.

I disagree.

Sort of.

Well, I think it might help to do a small amount of promotion. It's probably not a good idea to keep your book a secret.

But if you do the opposite—bang people over the head with the news of your book. I don't think that's going to help either. I think it just annoys the hell out of people. 

Sometimes I feel I'm banging people over the head. I talk about my book in some of my posts. I have it advertised on my sidebar. I was interviewed on a blog about my book. Despite all this, I've sold only one book in the last 30 days.

Some might argue it's because I'm not promoting enough. If I did more promoting, I'd sell more copies.

I disagree, because I believe in something I read recently. I forgot where. And again...forgot the exact quote. But it was something like readers don't choose their books. Books choose their readers.

I believe in that crap. I totally do.

And right now, I think my book is being very anti-social and it doesn't want anyone to read it. But I do talk about it sometimes...because it's on my mind. And also, I hope that if my book decides it does want a relationship with a reader, I'm not handicapping it by hiding it's existence.